Self as Brand



Farmville. Pesky strawberry crops were always dying on me, so I moved away. Somewhere in WebLand there is a sad little abandoned homestead with my name on it.

Tending my blog feels a bit like working the fields in Farmville . However, the reward for tending my blog is far greater than any amount of coins on Farmville could be. Keep your gifts of sheep; give me links and mentions and comments any old day.

As I think about the first assignment for Comm506, I’m reminded about other times when I’ve written about my networking experiences: the assignment about my online ah ha moment for Comm503, the podcast for Comm597, postings for Comm504 where I talked about the impact of social media on my relationship with my sister. In class, Kate Milberry (@KateinAlberta) talks about curating your online presence and being a public person and I’m going to explore this in assignment one, including an examination of my own network experiences through the lens of my previous postings and assignments in MACT.

A public person used to mean being an official like a politician or a minister, an author with a book in a store or someone with expertise that would see them quoted in the newspaper. Their status made them public.

Now the definition of public person includes all of us who are self-publishing, whether on a blog or Facebook or Twitter or the myriad of other ways to share our points of view, as well as those of us for whom our self is our product and brand. It seems to me that this latter distinction – self as product and brand/”What I sell is my image and expertise” – makes some of us more public than others. Perhaps in our electronically mediated world we will begin to think about degrees of being public the same way we think about degrees of separation.


4 Responses to “Self as Brand”

  1. 1 Sylvia

    Thanks for sharing your insight, Judith. (When I read your blog, I can hear your perfectly eloquent articulation of your thoughts.) I hang around the online landscape a lot, but still struggle with the public curation of myself – what to share, what not to share, who to share it with, etc. After several years, I don’t have it figured out, but I do use a lot of different channels to segment audiences (of course in comms, we are all obsessed with communicating with target readers in mind). It is a bit of a crazy network, but I’m part of the ‘digital denizen’ group, so it’s just a part of daily life.

    • You’re welcome! These deadlines are going to approach quickly 🙂

      Thanks for the feedback. I used to do some pretty high profile spokesperson work and in a way, I was the channel if that makes sense. I chose my clients very carefully, because their brand was going to be my brand while I was speaking on their behalf. I know they chose just as cautiously.

      This was in the latter part of the 90s until about 2002, so social media wasn’t much of a force in communications and it was more difficult to finely parse audiences. Caution about anything I said publicly was a way of life and I think that’s carried into my online life. I aim for authenticity, just not too authentic!

  2. 3 Sylvia

    Also, thanks for the nudge to start pondering about Assignment #1 🙂

  3. 4 patontrish

    Oh, I laughed. You know, one of the reasons I never started with all the games on Facebook is (I think) because one of the first I saw from friends was Farmville. And it just seemed to me that I was doing that in real life, and didn’t have all that much need for people to give me goats or rabbits or corn on line…

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